Sun., Aug. 14, 2016
Robert Lewis, River Cracraft lead the offense in Sunday scrimmage
Washington State's offense got the best of its defense during a scrimmage lasting approximately 90 plays on Sunday, WSU's last day of preseason camp.
Robert Lewis got the offense on the board during its first drive with a 15-yard touchdown run. The run capped an easy six-play, 60-yard drive with backup quarterback Tyler Hilinski leading the second team offense against the second team defense. John Thompson had a 14-yard reception on the drive to move the offense into the red zone. Before handing the offense over to Luke Falk, Hilinski ran a few more plays, including a seven-yard touchdown pass to John Thompson, who benefitted from a Keith Harrington's block that sealed a defender away from the goal line so Thompson could sneak the football over the pylon.
Falk similarly found the end zone shortly after taking the offense's reins, despite taking a sack from Daniel Ekuale. Falk threw a 15-yard pass to Lewis, who made a great catch against the sideline, and capped the 10-play drive with a six-yard touchdown pass to River Cracraft. Cracraft scored a second touchdown pass a few drives later, a 22-yarder from Hilinski who threw a nice pass over the top of the defense.
Trey Tinsley ran the third-unit first (he appears to be the third-string quarterback, for now at least) and made a couple plays, though he was sacked by Nick Begg. The third-string offense didn't score, which meant we got to see Erik Powell nail a 52-yard field goal into the wind.
Falk's second series was the most interesting of the day, and it featured true freshman receiver Dezmon Patmon. The drive started with a five-yard rush for Gerard Wicks and the offense was put in a third-and-five situation when Darrien Molton broke up Falk's pass. Patmon came through with an 11-yard reception to move the chains. Falk's next two passes were incomplete and Wicks gained just four yards on rush, putting the offense in fourth-and-six. But Patmon made a great nine-yard catch with Molton in coverage, keeping the drive alive.
Jalen Thompson came up from his safety spot to nail running back Jamal Morrow for no gain, but Tavares Martin came up with a 17-yard catch and then forced Molton into a defensive pass interference, putting the ball on the three-yard line. Wicks ran the ball in easily for another score.
Here are a few other notes from the practice and scrimmage:
-- Shalom Luani and Thompson each had big days at safety. Those look like the likely starters, at least at this point.
-- Hunter Dale ran with the twos at safety. I haven't seen him in the two-deeps much so far in camp, but he played there some in the spring, so that will be something to watch.
-- Treshon Broughton looks like the starter for now at right cornerback. Right now Jamal Morrow looks like the first running back up, with James Williams also in line to get a bunch of carries. Williams had probably the most explosive play of practice, a 31-yard run that was in large part thanks to a vicious block from Lewis.
-- Jahad Woods and D'Jimon Jones both looked like they will be players down the road. Woods, at 6-foot, 215-pounds needs to add some size before he can really contribute at inside linebacker most likely, but he hits hard and moves well. Jones is a great athlete who still turns the wrong way occasionally, but he plays a position (cornerback) where the Cougars are deep and he'll have time to develop.
-- Garrett McBroom showed up at camp today, although he obviously didn't participate in the scrimmage. He'll have to go through the acclimation practices and get in shape, but should be in the rotation at defensive end in a couple weeks.
-- Here are the final stats, as compiled by WSU Athletics: